Islamabad, 22 March 2022 (TDI): Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met Miguel Moratinos, the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 48th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad. During the meeting, views were exchanged on the work of UNAOC. In addition, avenues of collaboration were also deliberated upon between the two dignitaries.

The fields of collaboration will be related to strengthening interreligious dialogue, achieving harmony in diverse societies, and combating Islamophobia and related intolerance.

The Foreign Minister highlighted the proliferation of discrimination, hate speech, and violence against Muslims in several parts of the world including India. Consequently, the manifestation of negative profiling by security agencies and stigmatization has become rampant.

Moreover, killings by cow vigilantes, the deliberate vandalizing of Islamic symbols and holy sites, ban on hijab, and discriminatory laws and policies, as well as attacks on mosques, represent extremism in India.

Likewise, the far-right parties routinely call for expulsion and even “genocide” of Muslims in the country along with anti-Muslim migrant bias, and attacks on the dignity of Muslim women.

Foreign Minister Qureshi, welcomed the recent unanimous adoption of a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that designated 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.

Along these lines, the Foreign Minister applauded the support extended by the UNAOC as well as the High Representative to the OIC’s initiative.

Whilst the High Representative of the UN on his part reiterated the willingness of UNAOC to support efforts towards promoting continuous dialogue during the meeting along with fostering mutual respect and understanding.

The UNAOC was established in 2005. One of its basic goals is to advance mutual respect for all traditions, cultures, and religious beliefs. Moreover, the organization also serves as a platform for bridge-building.